Okorafor extends WMU's O-line draft streak

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Chukwuma Okorafor, left, was the third Western Michigan offensive lineman to be selected in the NFL Draft the last three years.

Chukwuma Okorafor went to Western Michigan as a 16-year-old out of Southfield High and started for the Broncos his sophomore year.

Okorafor, affectionally nicknamed “Chukes,” was born in Nigeria, moved with his family to South Africa at age 6, lived in Botswana from age 7-12 before moving to Michigan in 2010.

Okorafor was with his family in Southfield on Friday night, hearing his name be called on the second day of the NFL Draft as a third-round draft pick (No. 92 overall) of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That’s right, Western Michigan is becoming "Offensive Linemen U" with Willie Beavers (Southfield-Lathrup) getting drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round in 2016, Taylor Moton by the Carolina Panthers in the second round last year and now Okorafor.

Okorafor (6-foot-6, 320 pounds) helped the Broncos win the Mid-American Conference championship in 2016 when they went unbeaten before a Cotton Bowl loss to Wisconsin.

Okorafor anchored a line that helped Jarvion Franklin rush for a school record 4,867 career yards and 56 touchdowns.

Franklin joined Okorafor and teammates cornerback Darius Phillips (Detroit/Dearborn Heights Robichaud) and tight end Donnie Ernsberger (Battle Creek Lakeview) at the NFL Combine last month. Franklin, Phillips and Ernsberger hope to hear their names called in the final rounds of the draft on Saturday.